How in the world did I scale my first store from $0 to $1,000 per day in 10 days? (And go on to use this process to start and grow multiple six figure per month stores in record breaking time?)
First, let me be very clear on this… I used money.
“Free methods” are all the rage because let’s face it, that’s what we all want, right? And it’s the gurus’ job to promise the dream and sell what’s “sexy”.
In reality certain free methods work very well, however they all take enormous amounts of time and energy and 99% of people work so hard on it and get discouraged and give up before they ever see a return on that work.
Now, let’s begin.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story my first big success online came from starting a Digital Marketing Agency.
But as an introvert dealing with clients and sales calls all day wasn’t really a good fit for me.
I began stepping back and eventually closed the business.
Shortly after I saw an ad for ecommerce training, and the idea sounded good so I gave it a shot.
Coming out of my digital marketing agency my resources were slim to say the least. My only source of income was all but dead, my virtual assistants were gone, and I was an absolute beginner to the world of selling physical products.
What I did have was my marketing knowledge, experience, and a credit card.
The first and arguably most important item was finding a product people wanted to buy. Something I learned very quickly was that my opinion doesn’t mean SQUAT.
Things I thought would sell well, things I thought were cool, and things that I thought people would want… did not sell.
So I began looking at my competitors and found a little bracelet that was getting a ton of interaction on the ads. Tons of comments, likes, and shares… but it was being marketed ALL WRONG.
9 out of every 10 comments called the bracelet and Angel Wings bracelet, meanwhile the seller was labeling it as a Harry Potter snitch bracelet.
So I created my store around an Angel theme and began selling this bracelet with great success…
Here’s how I did it…
Scaling An eCommerce Product FAST
Let’s start with the store itself:
- I loaded about two dozen similar items into my store so it didn’t look “empty”.
- Keeping the store clean I went with a black and white color scheme. My store looked very clean much like the Apple website.
- The store logo was created for free in Microsoft word. I literally took a screenshot of the text and used it as my logo.
Next, the Facebook Ads Part 1: (it needs to be noted that the FB ads strategy has changed greatly since then)
- For this product I started with 1 single ad image and 1 ad creative (the copy).
- Instead of focusing on testing the image and copy I was much more interested in first locking down the right audience. So I tested this same exact ad to 5 different audiences. These audiences were all interest based and roughly 1-2 million in size each.
- When sales started coming in I immediately broke out the ad sets and began testing each of the interests I had grouped together for the original 5 audiences one by one. So one interest per ad set.
- I created duplicates of every ad set that had greater than 2x return on ad spend.
- This strategy allowed me to collect data very fast and I was able to create look a like audiences within my first 4 days.
Ready to scale, but improvements were needed…
Because this bracelet was selling for a cheap price around $16 and Facebook ads aren’t very cheap my return on ad spend was fairly low.
From my previous advertising experience I already knew that the moment I began attempting to scale the ads Facebook costs would rise and my profit would vaporize.
So my next steps were to increase my average order value:
- First I tried an app that showed people a pop up once they added something to their cart. This pop up would try to cross sell them something related. It bombed, and my sales dropped.
- So next I installed an app called One Click Upsell by Zipify. This app allows you to create post purchase 1 click upsells. In other words, this does not interrupt people who are trying to give you money like that pre-cart pop up does. After a successful sale it then moves my new customers through a sales funnel allowing them to purchase items I setup with a single click of a button. They don’t have to enter their card info again.
- I went through all of my big orders and quickly noticed a trend of items being purchased together, so I took those other items people bought with the bracelet and added them to the 1 click upsell funnel. (cool note here, the system is smart enough not to show the same upsell item if someone just bought it).
- This absolutely CRUSHED it.
- My AOV went from around $18 all the way up to $30 almost overnight. This was a game changer.
- Next I added in an email follow up series to try and sell more to my new customers while also building some rapport with them. This email sequence began adding an extra $200-$300 PER DAY in revenue to my store. This was awesome because I wasn’t paying Facebook for this traffic. So instead of a 35% ROI, these sales had an ROI closer to 70%. And the best part? It was all automated, I set it up once and it was all autopilot.
Here are all the automated email sequences I had setup:
The Default Checkout Page…
- Finally I noticed something painful… Shopify’s default checkout page was GARBAGE and only converted at 1%-2%. After testing a number of things on this page including different security logos, button colors, a countdown timer, and even the fonts I could not get this checkout to convert greater than 4%.
- My immediate action here was to try and get these visitors to come back and complete their checkout. I used an cart abandonment email series to make this happen. It worked very well and started recovering around 30% of the sales that would have otherwise been lost.
Switching To A 1 Page App:
- Next I needed to do something about that terrible excuse for a checkout page. I switched it to a very expensive, but very effective app that turned my checkout into a 1 page checkout. And it also had the 1 click post purchase upsell ability built in (so I got rid of OCU).
- The new 1 page cart converted on average between 19 and 30%. This is a huge difference from 4% and literally blew up this store’s sales.
After the above changes were implemented my average order value was sitting right around $38, my average cost to acquire a customer dropped from $12 to $8 and my profit margins went from 35% to 45%.
These numbers are of course estimates over time, since every day in the life of an ecom store is truly a roller coaster. During my initial scale of the Facebook ads I would lose money one day and quadruple it the next.
For scaling my Facebook ads I found that big budget ad sets always tanked and lost money.
My winning strategy was to use many smaller ad sets with a $10-15 budget using the look a like audiences for targeting, and to just duplicate them over and over.